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Outdoor Gear Care GuideFinally, a chance to get away and see the great outdoors.
The weather can be a bit unpredictable. A properly-waterproofed tent can be a great place to wait out a storm. To avoid sleeping in a puddle, you'll do well to waterproof tents once a year.
Here are a few more tips to keep your outdoor gear ready and for storing it when cold weather returns.
Tent: Waterproof at the beginning of the season. Open it up, even at the site, and spray it with water repellent. Check for tiny holes and patch them promptly to keep water and insects out.
Sleeping Bag: Sleeping bags can usually be washed but check the care instructions before cleaning. Many contain down or fiber filling and may require different care methods.
Wash sleeping bags separately on a gentle cycle. Add detergent and partially fill with warm water. Submerge the sleeping bag in the water to expel air, then allow the washer to finish filling.
Periodically stop the washer, open the lid, and press air from the sleeping bag to ensure thorough cleaning. Tumble dry at regular temperatures. Consider adding a clean tennis ball to the dryer to fluff up the filling.
If your sleeping bag is too bulky for your washer, we'll be more than happy to get it ready for the season.
Backpack: Water repellent is a good here, too. Look out for holes where water can get in and soak your items. If you have a leather backpack, it may crack and crumble if it gets wet too often or sits in the hot sun for a long period of time. It's best to apply some saddle soap and moisturize the grains on occasion while at home.
Boots: Slightly worse than sleeping in a puddle is walking in one all day. Waterproof and store boots in a dry place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, since squishy feet can lead to illnesses.
Rainwear: Slickers and overboots can be your best friends in the wild. But these items can develop odors and bacterial films which can cause infections if they sit too long. If you're wearing a plastic poncho, make sure it is completely dry before folding it up and packing it away for the season. If you prefer canvass, make sure the water repellent is refreshed at least once per year.
Camping lets people get away from the bustle of daily life and get in touch with nature. Taking good care of your gear will help it take care of you. Pack up, move out, and have a fantastic summer!